3rd Generation electric car batteries promise 300-mile range and 70% less cost


I want one of these

Would you be interested in an electric car that travels 300 miles on a single charge but its battery costs about 70 percent less than today’s packs? It’s something to look forward to in the next few years, says lithium-ion battery research company CalBattery.

CalBattery has designed a new li-ion battery with a silicon-graphene anode promising a major improvement in battery energy density. The design is based on what the company calls its “GEN3” silicon-graphene composite anode material for li-ion batteries, the technology breakthrough for which was developed at Argonne National Labs. The company entered the li-ion battery cells into the Department of Energy’s 2012 Start UP America’s Next Top Energy Innovator challenge, and is a finalist in the competition.

Independent test results show that CalBattery’s cells have an energy density of 525 watt-hours per kilogram, and anode capacity of 1,250 mili-amp-hours per gram. Compare this to the typical commercial battery out there right now in the 100-180 watt-hours per kg range, and anode capacity in the 325 mili-amp-hours per gram range.

…”This equates to more than a 300 percent improvement in lithium-ion battery capacity, and an estimated 70 percent reduction in lifetime cost for batteries used in consumer electronics, EVs, and grid-scale energy storage,” CalBattery CEO Phil Roberts told Torque News.

Increased efforts to get EV tech into the marketplace have Nissan offering dramatically cut-price leases on their Leaf – and, now, some California Focus Electric dealers matching the rate. For as long as the cost of money is zilch, leases start to make as much sense as purchase.

The Ford EV’s aren’t yet available in my neck of the prairie; but, if they start to show up in the next year – at California lease rates – I’m beginning to think it worthwhile. Especially with consideration of rolling the deal over into a new purchase with Gen 3 batteries in a subsequent 3 or 4 years.

Tree on New Haven Green felled by storm unearths skeleton

Talk about an eerie Halloween story. Hurricane turned Superstorm Sandy toppled a majestic old oak on the Upper Green and intertwined in the dirt and roots was a human skeleton.

Police were called, as was the state medical examiner.

But there was no horror story to be told.

The very old bones likely are centuries old dating back to when the Green was used as a cemetery during colonial times until the Grove Street cemetery was chartered in 1797. There remain an estimated 5,000 people buried under the Green.

The tree toppled sometime during the evening on Monday during high winds from the hurricane. On Tuesday, a passerby noticed something unusual. It looked like human bones. She contacted police…

This will, of course, freak out the superstitious among us. The New Haven Green – aside from being the best location in town for a demonstration – hosts a number of public concerts over the summer season. I can just hear the titters from those who are going to pass on spreading a picnic and blanket there, next year, now that they know there are beaucoup human remains buried below.

The business of New York is business — New York Stock Exchange reopens in wake of superstorm

Financial markets reopened Wednesday morning after the longest weather-related closure in over 100 years.

Lower Manhattan, including Wall Street, is still without power, but the New York Stock Exchange is up and running on a generator and CBS News business and economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis reported that NYSE personnel tested all of their electronic systems on Tuesday.

Approximately 50 personnel from the NYSE stayed at the exchange overnight and carpools and hotel stays were arranged to ensure that traders could arrive at the exchange by the opening bell on Wednesday. NYSE’s chief operating officer told Jarvis that they have done everything can to make sure that trading would at 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg rang the opening bell.

The headline says it all. Regardless of our politics, the economy ain’t especially moving anywhere without means of buying, selling and trading. The NYSE is open for business and that’s a good thing.

Here’s a predictable achievement of the Republican anti-Obama campaign – American prejudice against Blacks increased

Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not…

Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

In all, 51 percent of Americans now express explicit anti-black attitudes, compared with 48 percent in a similar 2008 survey. When measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, the number of Americans with anti-black sentiments jumped to 56 percent, up from 49 percent during the last presidential election. In both tests, the share of Americans expressing pro-black attitudes fell…

Most Americans expressed anti-Hispanic sentiments, too. In an AP survey done in 2011, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites expressed anti-Hispanic attitudes. That figure rose to 57 percent in the implicit test. The survey on Hispanics had no past data for comparison…

Experts on race said they were not surprised by the findings

Neither am I.

Obama has tread cautiously on the subject of race, but many African-Americans have talked openly about perceived antagonism toward them since Obama took office. As evidence, they point to events involving police brutality or cite bumper stickers, cartoons and protest posters that mock the president as a lion or a monkey, or lynch him in effigy…

The poll finds that racial prejudice is not limited to one group of partisans. Although Republicans were more likely than Democrats to express racial prejudice in the questions measuring explicit racism (79 percent among Republicans compared with 32 percent among Democrats), the implicit test found little difference between the two parties. That test showed a majority of both Democrats and Republicans held anti-black feelings (55 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans), as did about half of political independents (49 percent).

As predictable a result of bigotry and hate as has been the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, xenophobia engendered by Republican politics since 9/11.

Put the blame for corruption on victims. Just as the range of ethnicities and religions among the fallen at 9/11 extended well beyond white bread-America, the range of victims of the Bush Era oversight failure – our Great Recession – falls disproportionately on the least equipped economic segment of our population. Non-whites, Hispanic folks, Black people get it in the neck the most from disappeared jobs and opportunity.

Keep on rocking in the Free World!

What Tom Friedman means by Pro-Life – and why

Hard-line conservatives have gone to new extremes lately in opposing abortion. Last week, Richard Mourdock, the Tea Party-backed Republican Senate candidate in Indiana, declared during a debate that he was against abortion even in the event of rape because after much thought he “came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” That came on the heels of the Tea Party-backed Republican Representative Joe Walsh of Illinois saying after a recent debate that he opposed abortion even in cases where the life of the mother is in danger, because “with modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” in which a woman would not survive without an abortion. “Health of the mother has become a tool for abortions anytime, for any reason,” Walsh said. That came in the wake of the Senate hopeful in Missouri, Representative Todd Akin, remarking that pregnancy as a result of “legitimate rape” is rare because “the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down.”

These were not slips of the tongue. These are the authentic voices of an ever-more-assertive far-right Republican base that is intent on using uncompromising positions on abortion to not only unseat more centrist Republicans — Mourdock defeated the moderate Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana in the primary — but to overturn the mainstream consensus in America on this issue. That consensus says that those who choose to oppose abortion in their own lives for reasons of faith or philosophy should be respected, but those women who want to make a different personal choice over what happens with their own bodies should be respected, and have the legal protection to do so, as well.

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